The digital revolution is changing every layer of the enterprise in ways that were unthinkable only five years ago. Fully integrated networks and supply chains are streamlining processes, from product and service design through to costing, sourcing raw materials, manufacturing, sales and support.
At the same time, big data and analytics are disseminating vast amounts of data at rapid speed to provide vital business and market insights.
The four major trends currently driving the uptake of digital IT in the enterprise are cloud computing, more purchasing power across businesses, greater mobility and user experience. They are already changing the face of global commerce, and those that have been slow to adopt need to get with the digital program if they want to seriously compete in the future.
The cloud is becoming ubiquitous
Cloud computing has become almost synonymous with futuristic digital technology because it is relatively easy to understand. It is also having a huge impact on the way enterprises do business due to its extreme agility.
Far from just being a place where companies can store their data, the cloud lets employees access data and applications in an online environment like a service, meaning they can share information anytime, anywhere. No matter where in the world someone is, or what device they are using, they can access their cloud and continue working.
By removing many of the physical barriers that have previously existed in networked computing, enterprises can provide a vast array of new services and products through various apps designed for cloud services.
Cloud technology is also highly secure, making it a compelling value proposition across the enterprise.
Greater purchasing power
High-end technology may have once been considered too expensive to install across a whole enterprise, but the advent of cloud and mobility services have reduced such costs. Middleware and software solutions have also reduced the cost of migrating legacy systems and their data over to digital platforms.
A huge range of services and platforms has opened up the entire enterprise to the power of digital applications, and IT spending that was once the sole domain of the CIO or CTO has now shifted to other department heads, such as marketing and finance.
Digital customers also have far greater purchasing power as global competition makes pricing on products and services highly competitive. Enterprises involved in any form of manufacturing or sales – i.e. virtually everyone – must be aware of what their customers want and then tailor their offerings accordingly.
Vastly increased mobility
Greater mobility is already reducing the cost of workstations and everything that goes with them. Mobile workers using cloud services can work from home or on the move, which minimizes overheads for businesses.
With smartphones and tablets, employees have a level of flexibility that was unimaginable just a decade ago. In fact, smartphone technology has advanced to the point where an executive can complete tasks via business-specific applications, and even automate the most repetitive or mundane jobs.
The mobility solutions of the future will result in higher-quality video meetings, simultaneous reporting, editing and automated progress reports of high-end business projects. These solutions will allow executives to deal with large numbers of staff in disparate locations and across multiple time zones, all on a single cloud-enabled digital platform.
Customized user experiences
Digital technology will play a far greater role in the work employees do, and user experience will factor into an enterprise’s decision on customized IT solutions.
As IT departments manage their systems securely and efficiently across one platform (incorporating the cloud), they will become more adept at fine-tuning applications and services for the end user, or in this case to staff requirements.
Workers of the future will also have greater access to converged video, voice and messaging services on mobile and cloud-based platforms, while AI machine learning and augmented reality services will further enhance the user experience.
Changing the face of global business
The possibilities for digital technology to improve everyone’s lives are boundless. In the workplace, enterprise applications and services will continue to change the face of global business, as cloud and mobile technologies streamline processes and enhance end-user experiences for workers and customers alike.
Businesses will continue to seek out technology that helps them operate smarter, and digital technology will provide it in a 24/7 global environment in the most tailored, customizable and exciting way.